Union Community Indicators
The Upstate Workforce Investment Board (UWIB) and United Way of the Piedmont, along with the financial support of the Timken Foundation, Milliken and Company, County of Union and City of Union, proudly unveiled the inaugural Union Community Indicators Report on Tuesday May 27, 2008 at 5:00 p.m. at the Upstate Workforce and Economic Development Center on Main Street in Union.
The Union Community Indicators Report was initially spearheaded by informal discussions by a group of community leaders. These discussions formed the foundation of what turned out to be months of work by community leaders and volunteers, chaired by Bob Love of Union. The goal was to examine key human service and social issues affecting Union County. The committee identified five broad areas of emphasis: Education, Economics, Environment & Recreation, Family, and Health. Sub-committees were formed around each of these areas and included community leaders and volunteers from various walks of life.
These committees were given the task of identifying five or six measurable indicators that would give the community a picture of Union County’s performance in the various areas. Each indicator needed to be an accurate measure of the issue being discussed, obtained from a reliable resource, scientifically defensible, understood and accepted by the community, readily available and easily obtainable, and clearly defined. After brainstorming possible indicators and statistical data, the committees sought out public input through focus groups and different types of surveys.
The months of meetings and researching have culminated into the publication of the inaugural Union Community Indicators Report. The information found in the report is designed to compare Union to itself over time, not to evaluate the progress compared to other communities. The first step, upon release of the report, is to share the information that was compiled and begin asking the hard questions that address what causes the conditions in Union County to get better or worse. The Union Community Indicators Report should encourage and inspire the further research and dialogue necessary for the community to come together as advocates for positive change.
“The Union County Indicators project is an outstanding example of how concerned citizens from all walks of life can work together. Over 300 citizens participated and through their efforts benchmarks were established to identify areas of need as well as successes. It is my hope that this will be the springboard for discussions that will improve the standard of living in the community,” stated Bob Love, Chair of the Community Indicators Committee.